Jill Arthur, a 29-year-old married teacher in Oklahoma, has found herself in trouble with the law for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old student at Bixby High School. Arthur has since been fired and was charged with sexual battery, according to News on 6.
“Jill Arthur is no longer employed by Bixby Public Schools. She taught special education in Bixby for approximately three and a half years,” the district said in a statement. “The district received a concerning report about the employee’s alleged behavior in late December. We immediately notified the Bixby Police Department and shared the results of our investigation.
“The alleged incident involved possible inappropriate conduct with an 18-year old Bixby High School student. Our district takes all reports like this seriously and does not tolerate any inappropriate conduct between employees and students. All employees are subject to an annual criminal background check and training is provided to staff members relative to professional boundaries and out-of-school contact with students.”
According to the report, Arthur and the student went to the movies together on December 26, 2018, before the relationship turned physical. Arthur admits to kissing the student.
The student, however, claims the relationship never went past kissing.
Since the beginning of 2019 alone, a handful of teachers have been arrested on similar charges, including Beulah High School teacher Kelsie Schmidt in North Dakota, Rancocas Valley Regional High School teacher Alexandra Reiner in New Jersey, and 50-year-old Florida substitute teacher Angela Jean Stanton in Florida.
As for why there has been such a significant increase in instances of teachers having inappropriate relationships with students, researchers believe that technology is to blame. According to a report from the Texas Education Association, smartphones make easy for teachers to privately text and talk with students and also make it possible for teachers and students to share explicit images.